Fleetwood keeper Chris Maxwell is desperate for a chance to prove himself at Highbury and insists he’s “not a number two”.
The 23-year-old stopper was signed from Wrexham after Town won promotion to The Football League in 2012 but is yet to make his senior debut
Maxwell has been out on loan twice – to Wrexham last season, when he played in two Wembley finals, and this term to Cambridge, where he kept an amazing 17 clean sheets.
It’s a record he’s hoping will earn him a chance at Highbury, but if that doesn’t come Maxwell made it clear he would be willing to leave Fleetwood again in search of action.
“I’ve based myself on the idea I’m not going back out,” he said. “But I just want to play football – it doesn’t matter what standard.
“I’ll not be content sitting on the bench. If the chance comes about to go out on loan I’d consider it, just because it’s a chance to play games.
“Even if I was in the Premier League I wouldn’t want to be on the bench. I just want to play football. I’m not a number two.”
Maxwell was in action for Fleetwood’s reserves against Tranmere yesterday.
But it’s the first team he has his eyes on and the shirt of long-term first choice Scott Davies.
Maxwell said: “If the opportunity comes about, I’d be desperate to do well and grab it with both hands
“But right now I’m lucky to have gone out on loan and to have played six months of high-standards, top of the table football at Cambridge United.
“I’m feeling good and waiting for that opportunity. I know I’ll be ready when it arrives.”
But the Welshman admits it won’t be easy, particularly given Davies’ excellent record since Town began their League Two adventure.
“Scott’s done well” said Maxwell. “I played against him a lot when I was at Wrexham and I know what a quality keeper he is.
“Last year he had the first bite of the cherry and he made the most of that.
“He took it with both hands and performed really well.
“He deserved the shirt and I’m not going to say I should have it.”
As for that incredible record at the Abbey Stadium, Maxwell said: “I don’t think there are many keepers with a better record.
“All the staff at Cambridge were of the same mind. We were the best defensive team in Britain
“That’s not just down to me – it’s down to the back four and all the work they did. I was just the face of the clean sheets.”
He believes there’s little difference between the Conference and League Two, though Maxwell insists his allegiances remain with Graham Alexander’s side.
“This is where my name is signed at,” he said. “I’m a Fleetwood Town player, even if I’m out on loan, and that goes for last year at Wrexham too.
“I haven’t played yet and that’s a frustration. It’s been a long time coming and hopefully it won’t be too much longer.
“I’m not worried about playing League football – it’s just a label really.
“Ask anyone and they’ll tell you the standard at the top of the Conference is just as good.
“The top half of the Conference is better than the bottom half of League Two – we saw that in some of the FA Cup results. It’s not a step up.”
With Town playing eight games in 25 days next month, there’s every chance Maxwell could figure.
And with the club still in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy he’s hoping for a return to Wembley.
“It would be great for the lads and the fans,” he said. “Wembley is a great experience and it would be fantastic for the club to experience that.”